There was a man with us some of the time; he was a dark man. I was looking through the rear-view mirror and I'd see him just sitting there, grinning at me. I thought I could outrun him... you can't outrun the dark man.
Artistic License - Biology: The intro setpiece pans over the dead researchers as "Don't Fear The Reaper" plays. Many of them appear to have simply dropped dead where they sat, something no virus can accomplish and which Captain Trips doesn't do to its later victims once escaped. This is given a brief handwave, when it's discussed that the pure strain is what did in
California Doubling: Closing the Lincoln Tunnel in New York for filming would have been insane, so instead they used the Armstrong Tunnels in Pittsburgh.
Cameo: Several in the miniseries, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (as the "monster shouter"), Joe Bob Briggs, Sam Raimi, and John Landis. Also included uncredited appearances by Ed Harris and Kathy Bates.
Empathy Doll Shot: In the opening credits, as the doll dropped by Campion's daughter lays on the ground... and is being pecked at by a crow.
A Callback to this happens in the second part: while "Don't Dream It's Over" plays on the soundtrack, we see many shots of abandoned places. One of these is a teddy bear washing back and forth with the tide near the boardwalk (presumably in Ogunquit).
Fran's child, Peter, is Abagail in the miniseries.
Also the one-scene character of Ray Flowers becomes Rae Flowers.
Jump Scare: One pops up near the end of Stuart's dream in the first episode.
Another follows shortly when the doctor who tried to kill Stu turns out not to be dead, after all, and attacks him from behind. And then there's the dead doctor who falls out of the elevator after Stu investigates what's inside.
Large Ham: A few in the miniseries, notably Matt Frewer as Trashcan Man and Laura San Giacomo as Nadine.
The Mountains of Illinois: Trashcan Man's arson incidents in Gary, Indiana and Des Moines, Iowa, are both shown with rugged mountains in the background, because they were filmed in New Mexico.
The Power of Rock: At the end of the third episode, Larry is shown taking his guitar (and nothing else) to Las Vegas. A loaded six-string may not help with the forces of darkness...
Pragmatic Adaptation: In order to get the mini-series greenlighted, King had to cull the darker aspects of the novel for network TV, which in turn led to some decent revisions of the story: removing the "female zoo" sequence and expanding upon Nadine and Larry's relationship as far as the two hooking up in the city rather than once Larry's former companion died.
Pretty Little Headshots: When the Judge is shot. You can see the bullet holes, but it's nothing like the book description where there was nothing left of his face. Considering the whole reason Flagg was angry at his men was that he wanted the face to be recognizable, this made the scene make a lot less sense.
Averted in the comic adaptation, in which the Judge's face is pretty much destroyed.
Race Lift: Joe/Leo Rockway is a white kid in the miniseries version.
Real Men Eat Meat: In the miniseries version, when Larry asks Nadine how she wants her steak cooked, she says "just run it through a warm room" in a tomboyish moment.